Cast Iron

Standardization, Part 3

Industrial process are inherently standardized. Once you start producing anything on a large scale and with some degree of mechanization, you’re producing it repetitively and therefore in a standard form. But there’s standardization and standardization. It’s worth comparing the first two purely-industrial building materials to be used in the US: cast and wrought iron. Repetition …

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Construction History: Small Details

The picture above sent me down a rabbit hole of minor research. I could continue looking for a long time, but I suspect diminishing returns will set in soon: the building that interests me just isn’t famous enough to have left much a mark. The building on the left, the home of the Insurance Monitor …

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Construction History: Growth

That handsome building, seen above around 1876 when it was four years old, is the Bennett Building at Nassau between Ann and Fulton Streets. It’s still around, and known today for three things: it’s one of very few buildings with three full cast-iron facades, the trim on the cast iron is rather brightly colored, and …

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Midway in Time

That’s Bow Bridge in Central Park, the most prominently located and arguably most beautiful of the park’s many bridges. This picture was taken when it was about 40 years old, which was about 110 years before we worked on the composite wrought-iron/cast-iron beams that support its deck from the main cast-iron girders.

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